Vaccination requirements are gaining in prevalence in various settings. More than 200 colleges and universities are requiring vaccination of at least some students or employees ahead of the fall semester, and many companies have already announced vaccine requirements for at least some of their employees.
Employer Vaccination Policies
- An employee’s religious belief.
- An employee’s medical condition(s).
Note: Employers may also be subject to collective bargaining agreements that require them to negotiate with represented employees prior to implementing a unilateral change in vaccination requirements.
Companies Already Requiring Vaccination
A Case Study
The Southern District of Texas, in its order dismissing the lawsuit, observed that Texas law only protects employees from being terminated for refusing to commit an act carrying criminal penalties to the worker. Of course, receiving a COVID-19 vaccination is not an illegal act and it carries no criminal penalties.
The court likewise dismissed the argument that the injection requirement violates public policy, as Texas does not recognize this exception to at-will employment. In concluding remarks, District Judge Lynn N. Hughes succinctly noted: “Every employment includes limits on the worker’s behavior in exchange for his remuneration. That is all part of the bargain.”